what to remember from Friday, December 8

Fierce fighting continued during this time from the north to the south of the Gaza Strip, notably in Khan Younes. At the same time, the UN Security Council rejected a call for an “immediate ceasefire”.


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Palestinians search the rubble of the Deir al-Balah mosque in the central Gaza Strip, after an Israeli strike, March 8, 2023. (MAJDI FATHI / NURPHOTO / AFP)

The war has lasted two months and a day. The United States vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on Friday, December 8, calling for a “immediate ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip, devastated by the war that has been raging for two months between the Israeli army and Hamas. At the same time, fierce fighting continued during this time from the north to the south of the Gaza Strip, notably in Khan Younes, the main southern city. Here’s what to remember from this day.

US vetoes UN call for ‘immediate humanitarian ceasefire’

The United States vetoed a Security Council resolution calling for a “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza. The draft resolution, which received 13 votes in favor, one against (United States) and one abstention (United Kingdom), was prepared by the United Arab Emirates. The vote followed Antonio Guterres’ unprecedented invocation on Wednesday of Article 99 of the United Nations Charter, allowing the secretary-general to draw the Council’s attention to a matter that “could endanger the maintenance of international peace and security”. “As the crisis in Gaza worsens and threatens to spread, the Council is failing to live up to the fundamental mission entrusted to it by the Charter., lamented the French ambassador Nicolas de Rivière.

Fierce fighting continues in the Gaza Strip

The Israeli army continued its offensive in the Gaza Strip, in Khan Younes, located in the south, as well as in Gaza City, in the north. The army, which is carrying out strikes on other localities including Deir al-Balah, said it had struck “more than 450 targets” in 24 hours. The Hamas Interior Ministry reported “dozens of martyrs and wounded”. Palestinian poet Refaat Alareer was killed in an Israeli strike, his relatives announced.

UN chief calls Israeli bombing ‘collective punishment’

Despite the Council’s vote, Antonio Guterres “remains committed to pushing for a humanitarian ceasefire”, its spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told AFP. Earlier in the day, the UN Secretary General, explained that the violence committed by Hamas does not justify “under no circumstances collective punishment” Palestinians in Gaza. “If Hamas’ indiscriminate rocket fire into Israel and the use of civilians as human shields areviolations of the laws of war, such behavior does not absolve Israel of its own violations”did he declare. The director of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Philippe Lazzarini, also called for a “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” and to end “to the slaughter of Palestinian lives”while the foreign ministers of several Arab countries called for an end “immediate” of the war.

An operation to free hostages ends in failure

The Israeli army has admitted the failure of an operation to free hostages in the Gaza Strip, in which two soldiers were seriously injured. The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, announced that they had “managed to thwart an Israeli attempt to free a hostage, spotting members of Israeli special forces sneaking into the central Gaza Strip” and who had “slipped into an ambulance”. They claimed that a hostage was dead.

Six Palestinians killed in West Bank

Israeli forces killed six Palestinians on Friday, the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said, in a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. For his part, theThe Hamas health ministry claimed that 17,487 people had died in Israeli bombings, more than 70% of them women and children and young people under the age of 18.

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